Today is Bid Day at OU and I’m still in denial that I’m an alum of Pi Beta Phi, so just let me have this moment, ok?
Dear New Member Holly,
Don’t worry. Your gut was right. Well, it wasn’t your gut. It was God literally shutting all doors that didn’t point you to 1701 Elm. I know you’re nervous that it’s not all it’s cracked up to be, like in the Pref Night video. Spoiler: it is. Open house was great. Philanthropy was a tear-jerker and a pie-thrower. Skit Day was a relief full of dancing, Katie Qualls and crying on the porch before even stepping in the door. Pref Night was a last ditch attempt to show them that you belonged in that house. Bid Day was overwhelming joy and utter excitement. Bid Day night was a little awkward because you didn’t know anyone. For that reason, Bid Day night will become one of your favorite nights as a Pi Phi for the next three years. I know you’re unsure about how to make lifelong friends. The Lord gave you Katie for that reason. She’s going to be an incredible friend, roommate and mentor.
People are going to think you’re crazy because you love a sorority so much. Who cares. When you love something, you give your all. You always have.
You’re going to fail miserably. You’ll be happy about that later. You’re going to make memories watching the VMAs in the informal, which is where you meet Jessica Anderson for the first time. You’ll see personality plus and long hair. You’re going to form an unlikely friendship with a girl in your walking group. You and Erica are pretty opposite on the outside, but it works for some reason. You’ll watch friends take huge steps for our chapter, like throwing the best Read Across America in OK Alpha history, or breaking the U-Sing and Scandals curse, or become New Member Coordinator the day of Bid Day and not bat an eye. Not to mention three LDCs from OK Alpha in two consecutive years!!!
You’ll meet Pi Phis from all over the country at College Weekend. That’s really cool. You make easy friends with strangers thanks to the bind of sisterhood. You’ll cry tears of a lost friend in that big white house. You’ll comfort friends experiencing tragedy and broken promises. Those are the moments you discover what sincere friendship and lifelong commitment really look like.
You’ll take way too long eating dinner because you’re getting to know more about Mom Mindy. She’s a boss lady who you’ll love. You’ll have pita bar for lunch and pancake brunch and cookie shines with Cookies ‘N Cards before it closes. You’ll come to realize how much those details like Les and the house boys make the experience better.
Making Scandals three times will be some of the best of the memories. I don’t know why you’ll fall in love with Scandals so much. Wearing all black and dirt on your face in a room of glitter, three costume changes in 45 seconds and dancing to only Fleetwood Mac in gogo boots with boys you come to know and sisters you come to love.
Current members aren’t the extent of Pi Phi friendships, believe it or not. You’ll learn a lot and make friends with the amazing alumni that serve the chapter. Somehow you got on Exec and these women believed in you to do two big jobs combined into one. That wouldn’t happen if Liz Fish didn’t tell you to apply for Recruitment Chair in the blue room while tearing down the last Skit Day. You probably wouldn’t have applied, which lead to an internship with an alum, which probably helped you get your current job.
You’ll finally have the best time of you life at Monmouth with your best friends as a senior. Jess and Annie will be your go-to girls. You’ll spend a lot of time standing in a door frame in 730 Willow and that wouldn’t have happened without Pi Beta Phi. Katie will be the greatest friend you’ve ever known. That girl is good at being a great friend. They’ll believe in you and tell you to go for it. They’ll put you in Scandals when you for sure can’t sing, give you the gift of caring for OU royalty (literally) and do absolutely anything you need as recruitment 2016’s resident Latch Queen. They’ll spend a lot of time at the Mont with you in t-shirts and shorts when everyone else is dressed for Seven. You’ll love them for that.
You’ll laugh about the ghost of Fannie in the 2nd floor bathroom. You’ll cherish getting ready for date parties with everyone and running around on Bid Day preparing for new members to run home. You’ll cry when you swore you wouldn’t and always defend the place that chose you back. In four years of being surrounded by 300 women, you will never be hazed or made to feel less-than. You will be challenged and amazed by women who serve overseas, who have lost precious family, who support themselves and take 21 hours, who go for a run literally every day when you are sleeping, who hide an Elf on a Shelf in the chandelier, who pick you up when you’re walking from class, who make sure you’re alive when you fell asleep in informal, who respect you, who like to have a good time and spend hours of their lives dedicated to a philanthropy of their choosing.
Pledging Pi Beta Phi will be the easiest decision you’ve ever made. I wish I could have told you that on that horribly humid and rainy day when you fought your way through water and bodies to get to 1701 Elm Avenue. You thought you knew what sorority was. You were way wrong. The major take aways aren’t the shirts and the date parties. It’s Katie, Annie, Jess, Lisa and Rachel. That’s something that I wish all new members knew on Bid Day.
All those clichés you heard during recruitment are true. These are the best times of your life with the best people. There is a whole new class of Pi Beta Phi new members that run home today. I pray that the Lord blesses them through “silly sorority” like He did you. One day, four years from now, maybe they’ll share the same sentiment. Intense thankfulness for a group bound by three letters, 12 founders, six values and one badge. The greatest gift of fellowship outside of the church.
Of course, you could just say I’m partial to the wine and silver blue.
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Holly Hoehner has her bachelor’s degree in public relations from the University of Oklahoma. She considers herself more of a Russell Westbrook than a Kevin Durant and enjoys learning about and participating in the digital age, blogging about anything that comes to her mind and creating witty Instagram captions. Holly was raised a die-hard Sooner fan in Edmond, OK.